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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the cheeseburger thread, one of the mama's said that her 7 and 10 year old had seen all the movies (which is fine by me, not passing judgement (sp?) here, just interested, promise!).<br><br>
Anyway, it got me thinking, I have an 8 1/2 year old and 2 5 1/2 year olds. I think the twins are too young, however I'm curious as to what age your kids are/were/will be when you thought them old enough to show them some of the more awful stuff.<br><br>
I haven't yet shown my eldest, but it is something I want her to know one day. So thoughts and opinions?
 

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I think it really depends on the kids. I was watching Earthlings on the computer awhile back. My three older boys (6, 4, 4) came up and asked what I was watching. I paused it and explained a bit. My oldest said he wanted to watch with me. I told him it was really sad and had video of people being mean to the animals. He said one of the most grown up things to me. He said "Mommy, I know it is sad and might make me feel sad. But if I feel sad watching it, the animals must be really sad to feel it." So I let him watch a bit. I watched his face and he was doing okay, then he said that he saw all the sad he could for now.<br><br>
He is pretty sensitive. He doesn't like it when people are rude or yelling (yelling mad, not yelling having fun). He's also this amazing little vegan activist kid all on his own though, and wants to see and learn more about why we're vegan.<br><br>
All three of them frequently look through the Why Vegan booklet from Vegan Outreach. It has some pretty sad pictures in it, but they look at it and close it and come back to it another time when it's too much.<br><br>
I wouldn't voluntarily turn the movies on for them, but if they were asking and I explained ahead of time what kinds of things they would see, I would turn it on and keep an eye on their reaction and be ready to turn it off quickly.
 

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I like the idea of media in other forms besides video. The sounds, voices, fast images, music etc make it even more dramatic and harder to 'filter'.<br><br>
I would leave info around the house, and allow your children to view in their own time, at their own pace, like previously said. Much more gentle introduction to why you are vegan/vegetarian.<br><br>
I think books left on the tables/bathrooms/bedsides are the best ways to learn about difficult and sometimes emotionally charged issues (thinking, birds and bees here). Just be sure, you are always home when they have access to them, so they can approche you with concerns/questions/tears etc.<br><br>
Great question by the way.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lovemyfamily6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10797855"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think it really depends on the kids.</div>
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ITA. i'm a 26yo adult who has never watched any sort of "meet your meat" type of movie. i'm too sensitive, and it feels like preaching to the choir for me to watch it anyways.<br><br>
no judgement--if you or your kids can handle seeing that sort of thing, then by all means, go for it. i guess i'm just saying that it's definitely not an age thing, it's a personality/sensitivity thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I would leave it till when my kids are able to find it/procure it/watch it on their own, if they ever have that desire. That's how I became veg.<br><br>
My two youngest have been raised veg (they are 5 and 6). (Oldest was adopted from an orphanage and is not veg.) They love animals. They know that animals are killed for food products. They have no desire to eat animals and don't understand why others would. I don't see any benefit in filling their heads with disturbing images.<br><br>
In fact, I was going to watch Earthlings last night, but wasn't able to because something else came up. Then I had nightmares about the movie all night (anticipatory nightmares ... I haven't even seen it!). I decided that there was no reason for me to watch animals being abused ... I'm already a total vegetarian, and I don't need to carry around sick and disturbing images in my head to convince me of anything.<br><br>
dm
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pazerific</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10801959"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ITA. i'm a 26yo adult who has never watched any sort of "meet your meat" type of movie. i'm too sensitive, and it feels like preaching to the choir for me to watch it anyways.<br><br>
no judgement--if you or your kids can handle seeing that sort of thing, then by all means, go for it. i guess i'm just saying that it's definitely not an age thing, it's a personality/sensitivity thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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ita.<br><br>
i can't watch any of those. i can't imagine showing one to super sensitive ds1 either.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BeanyMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10802064"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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i can't watch any of those. i can't imagine showing one to super sensitive ds1 either.</div>
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Adding to that list. I don't feel it would help me to see it and showing my son would feel like a kind of child abuse to me.
 

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Yeah you can add me to the list of those who cant watch those movies.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> But heck I cant even watch scary movies that I know are fake.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AddysMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10803879"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah you can add me to the list of those who cant watch those movies.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> But heck I cant even watch scary movies that I know are fake.</div>
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That's me too. I've read accounts of what happens in slaughterhouses and that was enough for me. My older DS (the cheeseburger kid) is super sensitive, and only 3, so I definitely will not be showing those films to him.
 

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My DS is 3 and I don't really explain much about my ethical reasons for being vegan. Not yet. I find it really hard to watch those types of films, I prefer to read books and imagine but not have those lasting images imprinted on my brain. I'm going to wait a while and see how like me he is. Although I think it's fine to show them if they really want to watch.
 

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My 56 year old mom is vegan but can't bring herself to watch MYM or anything like that. She's particularly fond of pigs, and she got my 78 y/o grandma to preview a video about pig farms for her to see if she could handle it. Grandma wasn't even perturbed but told her grown daughter not to watch it.<br><br>
I've watched MYM and it is upsetting. Free Me, which shows clips from MYM with a song by the singer of Goldfinger in the background was even more emotional, IMO. And it is the sounds, too, in MYM the non-narrated version you can hear the pigs squealing. But, if I had not ever seen that video I might not have become vegan. Sometimes we need to see it to believe it, and feel bad for being a part of it. That's why governments suppress photos of warzones.<br><br>
I made the decision to go Veg at 8 years old because I knew that animals were killed to make hamburgers. I don't think I needed to see a video or a picture to be affected by that knowledge. I don't think I would personally show it to my DD when she is that age unless she was essentially asking it. Then again, I just heard a story from DP about a co-workers' 8-year-old looking at pornography on the Internet, though, so maybe 8 year olds can handle more nowadays then when I was a kid. I guess what previous poster's have said is true, depends on the kid, not the age.
 

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I can't watch any of those videos either. I watched the movie about the PETA president and had to shut my eyes a few times. Even Fast Food Nation bothered me a great deal.<br><br>
I've taken my 13 year old (now 14) to a dairy farm and to an animal sanctuary and that was enough to convince him to be veg without any encouragement needed from me.
 

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Pretty early on, actually. We watched the educational version of Super Size Me last spring when they were 7 and 4. We'd previously shown them online movies of slaughter houses, chicken plants, etc. (not necessarily along the lines of MYM or Earthlings, but short documentary kinds)<br><br>
I don't think that kind of thing is the same as glorified pretend violence in movies, etc. This is real and they deserve to know what is involved in the production of "meat" for food. They have family and friends who eat meat and they're easily influenced by some of them (especially their cousins). Those images stick with them and speak much louder than teasing.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lovemyfamily6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10797855"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think it really depends on the kids. I was watching Earthlings on the computer awhile back. .</div>
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What video is that one?<br>
Thanks!<br><br>
My 7, 10, and 11 year olds have seen the peta vids.
 

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I guess I am the one the op was referring to.<br><br>
I never tried to get my 7 & 10 yo's to watch it, but when they came into the office and I paused it, they really wanted to see what it was, even after I explained to them that it was going to show people being mean to animals. They both decided they wanted to see it, and I believe they were both mature enough to make that decision. It would totally depend on each individual child though. I would never say all 7 or 10 yo's should see them.<br><br>
My older dd has also read some books we got from Farm Sanctuary. She really liked the chapter book 'Saving Emily' - she even did a report on it in school. The picture book about Hope the pig is good too. I believe they also sell a video designed just for kids. I haven't ordered it, but I bet it would be a more gentle way to introduce kids to the truths of factory farming.<br><br>
I guess I just feel my kids have a right to know the truth. I'm so tired of those 'happy cows from california' commercials. They make me mad every time I see them. They are such a lie. I'd rather my kids knew the truth, even if it's difficult.<br><br>
Just wanted to add: My kids didn't see ALL of the movies - just parts. I wouldn't let them see the horrible part where the dog is thrown in the garbage truck, or where the fox(??) is skinned alive and then looks at you. Those still haunt me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HelloKitty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10807722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I've taken my 13 year old (now 14) to a dairy farm and to an animal sanctuary and that was enough to convince him to be veg without any encouragement needed from me.</div>
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Thanks! I think this is a wonderful ideal!
 

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This is a great thread. My son is still young, not quite 2 yet, and I know it will be awhile before I have to deal with this issue. I became vegan about 8 months ago and before that, even though I knew in theory that animals were treated inhumanely for food and by-products it wasn't until I did some reading and watched a couple of PETA videos that I decided to become vegan. It was like someone woke me up with a slap in the face. I spent weeks crying and so horribly sad and a bit traumatized, but it's what I needed to see and be informed about to make a proactive decision and lifestyle change. I have not watched MYM or Earthlings......I too get so angry when I watch commercials these days with happy talking cows roaming around beautiful countrysides. I don't want my son to grow up believing those lies. Someday I want him to know exactly what is going on and why we are vegan......but it will be when he's ready. For now it's a subject he can't grasp and he's happy to eat whatever I put in front of him. It's very helpful to hear what you parents of older children are doing because I wonder what it will be like when he gets older.<br><br>
I am hesitant to watch anything else, although I do a lot of reading -- it won't change anything for me as I'm already a passionate vegan! But I do believe that if everyone in our country was face to face with the truth many people would feel compelled to make some real changes in their lives.<br><br>
Caitlin
 

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I can't/won't watch those movies, and I'm really not big on activists who show them in public, either. I think it's a terrible form of activism.<br><br>
I do think that they are important tools, though, and for some people, watching things like that keeps them energized and on the path to helping animals. I am just not one of those people. I saw a snippet of the downer cows video that was in the news recently, and it sent me into hysterics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi everyone, sorry for the delayed reply. Thank you all for sharing your opinions.<br><br>
I too haven't watched meet your meat or earthlings. I just can't do it, I didn't need to see them to go veg. I've seen little snippets of awful stuff here and there and that was enough for me.<br><br>
I've shown my kids The Meatrix which interested them and a couple of the kids PETA videos I thought were appropriate. I talk to them about why I'm vegetarian and I got a book from the library for my 8 year old which was honest about what happened to animals but didn't get too gory or awful. Like it showed whole cows and sheep (cartoon ones) going into a big shed and coming out as chops and stuff. It made her think but I've raised them to be meat eaters (because I was one up until a year and a bit ago) and it's hard for them to stop.<br><br>
We also talk during movies like Babe and Open Season and anything else where animals show a will to live.<br><br>
I think for now I might leave it at that and just keep plodding along hoping that everything I say will one day sink in, and if they ever ask to see such a movie I guess I'll determine then if they're ready.<br><br>
Zersha, thank you. I'll look into the books/movie. Unfortunately I live in Australia and shipping can be a real killer but I'll see if they're available over here at all (and I hope you don't think I was picking on you or anything! Your post just got me thinking about my own situation).
 
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